Sarah Paulson Dodges Question About Lea Michele Allegations

Both Sarah Paulson and Lea Michele have starred on Ryan Murphy shows. See how the American Horror Story star reacted when asked about recent allegations regarding the Glee actress.

By Elyse Dupre Jul 10, 2020 4:49 PMTags
Sarah Paulson, Lea MicheleRachel Luna/FilmMagic, Ryan Emberley/amfAR/Getty Images

Sarah Paulson appeared on Thursday's episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen and dodged a question about recent allegations regarding Lea Michele.

Both actresses have starred on Ryan Murphy shows—with Paulson appearing in American Horror Story and Michele appearing in Glee. So Andy Cohen asked a question from a viewer who wanted to know Paulson's thoughts on Michele's alleged on-set behavior. However, the 45-year-old star avoided the topic.

"I'm having a weird connection. I can't really hear you," she said with a laugh.

Referencing one of the late-night show's games, fellow guest and Real Housewives of New York City star Sonja Morgan then said, "I think that's called pleading the fifth on this show."

Fans learned about Michele's alleged on-set behavior in May after Michele tweeted about George Floyd's death at the hands of police. 

"George Floyd did not deserve this," the 33-year-old actress wrote at the time. "This was not an isolated incident and it must end."

Samantha Marie Ware, who played Jane Hayward on Glee, then replied by writing, "LMAO remember when you made my first [television] gig a living hell?!?! Cause I'll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if [you] had the opportunity you would 's--t in my wig!' amongst other traumatic microagressions that made me question a career in Hollywood…"

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The Rachel Berry celeb issued an apology days later.

"One of the most important lessons of the last few weeks is that we need to take the time to listen and learn about other people's perspectives and any role we have played or anything we can do to help address the injustices that they face," Michele wrote in a post shared to Instagram. "When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time, but the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them."  

While Michele said she didn't "remember ever making this specific statement" and claimed she has "never judged others by their background or color of their skin," she noted "that's not really the point" and that "what matters is" she "clearly acted in ways which hurt other people." 

"Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused," she continued. "We can all grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings."

Michele, who is pregnant with her first child, then wrote, "I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and I know I need to keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my actions, so that I can be a role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes, so that they can learn from me. I listened to these criticisms and I am learning, and while I am very sorry, I will be better in the future from this experience."

In a later interview with Variety, Ware also accused Michele of threatening to call Murphy and have her fired from her job. Ware told the publication she didn't report the alleged behavior because she didn't know filing a complaint was an option. Representatives for Murphy, 20th Century Fox Television and Michele declined to comment.

Related: Lea Michele Apologizes After "Glee" Costar's Accusations

Several other stars from the show weighed in on the claims. For instance, Matthew Morrison talked about the allegations during an interview on FUBAR Radio's Access All Areas, and Heather Morris spoke out on social media.

"Let me be very clear," the 33-year-old actress, who played Brittany Pierce, wrote in a note posted to Twitter. "Hate is a disease in America that we are trying to cure, so I would never wish for hate to be spread to anyone else. With that said, was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she should be called out. And yet, it's also on us because to allow it to go on for so long without speaking out is something else we're learning about with the rest of society. But, at the current moment it's implied that she is a racist and although I cannot comment on her beliefs, I think we're assuming, and you know what happens when we all assume…" 

Amber Riley also addressed the allegations during an interview with Danielle Young

"I am not going to say that Lea Michele is racist," the 34-year-old actress, who played Mercedes Jones, said at the time. "That's not what I'm saying. That was the assumption because of what's going on right now in the world, and it happened toward a Black person. I'm not going to say that she's racist."

She also made it clear she doesn't "give a s--t about this Lea Michele thing," noting there are "people out here dying." 

"If it aint about defunding the police, prosecuting killer cops, or Black Lives Matter or my EP that's coming out…if it's not about those things, I don't care," she added.

As for Michele, she has kept quiet but returned to social media last week.

Related: Lea Michele Accused of Making Life "Hell" for Costar

Recently, several Glee alumni and fans have been praying for Naya Rivera. Authorities began searching for the 33-year-old actress, who played Santana, after she rented a boat with her 4-year-old son and she went missing while out on California's Lake Piru. Ventura County Sheriff Office Deputy Chris Dyer confirmed there are "no signs of foul play." While the search remains ongoing, the sheriff's office said, "Investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident." The search has also transitioned to a recovery operation.

Still, Morris isn't giving up on authorities' efforts.

"It's so hard to wrap your head around something unknown," she said. "I'm holding on to hope that the rescuers will bring Naya home in a swift and speedy recovery. I know she would remind me in moments like this that God has a plan for everything and although we may not know that that plan is, we need to keep our chin up and stay strong."

Paulson's interview can be watched via the video above. 

(E! and Bravo are both part of NBCUniversal).

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